As the colorful and artistic world of drag, and the inspiring narratives of three drag artists namely Jan Lamban, Ian Jaurigue, and Thammy Gan were featured in the previous episode on Iba ‘Yan, more struggling drag artists were also highlighted in the August 9 airing of the show.
Iba ‘Yan host Angel Locsin talked to Omar Madali, also known as Omiko from Quezon City, who was one of the performers in “Kinang” concert with the drag queen name, “Dancing Doll Omi.” Being a transgender woman, Omiko shared that she’s actually not offended when people still ask her how she should be called. At the same time, she admitted that she always prays for the time that people can finally accept her and the rest of the transwomen. Omiko added that since the very beginning, she has always wanted to be a woman because she grew up looking up to her younger sibling who’s also a transgender. And what made Omiko even more comfortable with her sexuality was the acceptance and support of her family. It’s actually her mom and her siblings who always buy her wigs and costumes when she performs as a drag artist. However, unfortunately, Omiko’s mom has been experiencing Alzheimer’s disease already.
When asked what could be her advice for those who have family members who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, Omiko answered “Akala kasi nila puro hirap lang kapag may kamag-anak silang part ng LGBT community kaya hirap silang tanggapin. Ang hindi nila alam, makulay [kaya], at ang saya [kaya]. Ang dami naming nae-experience at nadi-discover na talents. Kaya tanggapin ninyo sila.” And her advice for the trans community would always be to just assert their rights because sooner or later, people will come to accept them for who they are.
Because of the crisis brought by the pandemic, it has also been difficult for Omiko because they haven’t been able to do live shows anymore. But she said she is still happy that she gets to help her brother in the salon that he owns. Moreover, despite all the problems encountered due to the pandemic, there has also been something good that happened—spending quality time with her family.
Angel then had the chance to talk to Daniel Padilla Magbanua Jr., a veteran drag artist. He shared that at first he joined lip sync contests in which she used the name “Joan Collins” that he later on thought was not really catchy. So he considered another name and eventually chose “Cherry Pie.” Daniel shared the first time he joined a beauty contest, he won as “Miss Gay Lucban.” At first his father did not accept him for how he was so there was a time when he left his family for one month and just stayed and worked at beauty parlors. He survived but later on his parents asked him to come back to continue his studies. When Daniel started working at bars, he also was given the opportunity to work abroad, specifically in Japan. He experienced working there as an entertainer. His advice for all the aspiring drag artists was to make sure they really want it before going for it. Daniel admitted that life has been incomplete ever since drag stopped because of the pandemic. Add to that the depression and anxiety that came with it, which he actually experienced already for three years. But after those years, Daniel enlightened himself and stood up again. If ever he’s given another chance in life, Daniel confidently said he’ll always choose to be the person he is now because through being true to himself, he learned how to be strong.
Another drag artist who participated in the benefit concert was a longtime fan of Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Precious Paula Nicole. And for the said concert, she performed Asia’s Songbird’s hit single “Araw Gabi.” Precious was really glad that people appreciated her performance during the concert, including her relatives. Precious shared that her impersonation of the Asia’s Songbird actually happened by accident. It occurred when her first group came up with a concept of “OPM divas.” Precious added she was just a new member during that time so she was the last to pick an OPM artist and she chose Regine. She has been doing the impersonation for 10 years already but she admitted that she herself still sees some flaws when she’s doing it although people are already so impressed with her talent. The gown that she actually used during her performance at the concert was the same gown worn by Regine at one of her gigs. She got the chance to own it because the designer of that gown was a customer at the bar she worked at. The designer saw her perform and then offered her that gown. Every time she performs, she said it’s always a moment of fulfillment because people appreciate her craft.
Another drag artist that Angel had a meaningful conversation with was DeeDee Holliday who has been doing the craft for 10 years already. He has a corporate job but he said that drag will always be his passion. DeeDee said that since he’s an entertainer, he also feels the need to influence young members of the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly those who are still afraid to express their true identity because of the fear of being judged. And Deedee would assume that role because he once experienced and overcame such fear. He thanked Iba ‘Yan for giving them the platform and the opportunity to showcase their craft as drag queens.
Lastly, Angel again spoke to Jan. He said that this online benefit concert and his featured story on the show really served as his chance to officially come out, especially to his family. But he believed that coming out is still considered personal so he decided to reveal himself in public through his Facebook account. And he didn’t receive any single negative comment because everyone who saw his post supported him. During the previous episode, Jan just simply asked his parents to watch it although he was afraid what their reactions would be once they get to see his transformation. And he was surprised and glad at the same time when his father asked to see his performance. Jan felt all the love from his family as he knew they appreciated the artistry of the craft he does. Jan said that acceptance really goes both ways – if you want to be accepted by your family, you should give them the time to think things through.
Angel then disclosed the total amount of proceeds from the “Kinang” benefit concert. Donations, Angel said, reached Php200,937, which would certainly help the drag artists affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Witness more of Angel’s heartwarming conversations with these fabulous and entertaining drag queens and how Iba ‘Yan extended their assistance to them amidst the pandemic in this episode.
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